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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

322        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

at once an elementary day school, a boarding school, and a training
college. The outcome of this work was the publication in 1801
of his most notable book, How Gertrude Teaches her Children,
followed two years later by a series of books for parents and
teachers, written partly by Pestalozzi and partly by his staff.
A change of government compelled him to leave Burgdorf in
1805, and he set up a new Institute at Yverdon. For the first
year or two things went amazingly well. Pupils and teachers
came to him from all parts of Europe, and the fame of the in-
stitution stood high. Then strife broke out among his helpers,
and after some troubled years the school had to be closed in 1825.
Pestalozzi proceeded to make a restatement of his doctrines in a
veritable Swan Song, and died broken-hearted not long after.

So far as his general view of the nature and aim of education
went Pestalozzi was in all essential respects a disciple of Rousseau.
He accepted his conviction that under existing social circumstances
education is primarily concerned with the individual child;
that the basis of a right method of education is a knowledge of the
general course of mental development; that the teacher's business
is to direct the process of natural growth and to prepare the child
to take the place in society for which his social rank and his
individual abilities mark him out; that it is the family which
furnishes the model for the ideal school in which individuality
and the generic human qualities can get justice done to them.
But these doctrines appeared in Pestalozzi with important modi-
fications which helped to make their general adoption possible.
In the first place, while agreeing with Rousseau that true educa-
tion is always the outcome of personal experience, Pestalozzi had
a deeper faith than he in the educational possibilities of ordinary
life. Rousseau required for the best education an ideal home
with parents of exceptional ability and character. Pestalozzi had
faith" enough to see in the ordinary peasant home, with its op-
portunities for companionship and work, an instrument for
education which only needed proper application to produce the
best possible results. And following out this idea, he ventured
to believe that the schools of the people, though generally un-
satisfactory, could be re-created after the pattern of the good
home, and made to carry further the instruction which had its
natural beginnings there. In the second place, while following
Rousseau in thinking of education as taking place in a series of